The Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan is marking the debut of its latest exhibit, Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away., with a poignant and striking visual installation. Standing outside the museum atop a short row of tracks is a red, World War II-era German freight car, a car similar to those used by German Nazis to deport people within occupied Europe to ghettos and extermination centers during the Holocaust.
The Model 2 German freight car that now stands outside the museum is one of 120,000 that were built between 1910 and 1927 and used by the Deutsche Reichsbahn (German National Railway) to transport foodstuffs, goods and livestock. During Word War II, between June 1940 and January 1945, Nazis used cars like this to transport millions of people to ghettos and concentration camps, such as Auschwitz. Around eighty people and their belongings would by stuffed into the 215 square foot space for a harrowing journey that could last many days.
The freight car is one the 700 original objects that make up the travelling exhibit , Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. Is the largest exhibition on Auschwitz that has ever been presented in the United States and most of the items have never been seen in the country before, including a barrack from Auschwitz III-Monowitz, Picasso’s Lithograph of Prisoner, and original drawings by Alfred Kantor and David Olère. The items trace the development of Nazi ideology and tell of the transformation of Auschwitz from an ordinary Polish town known as Oświęcim to the most significant Nazi site of the Holocaust.
The exhibition will open in New York City on May 8, 2019 and run through May 2021. Timed tickets to the exhibit are on sale now.